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Dead of Night/The Queen of Spades

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2003)
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$119.98 $70.00

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Editorial Reviews

DEAD OF NIGHT A group of strangers is mysteriously gathered at a country estate where each reveals a chilling tale of the supernatural. First, a racer survives a brush with death only to receive terrifying premonitions from beyond the grave. Then a teen's innocent game of hide-and-seek leads to an encounter with the macabre. Next, a young couple purchases an antique mirror that unleashes a horrific power from its past. In a lighter vein, two competitive golfers play for stakes that may haunt the winner forever. Finally, a renowned ventriloquist descends into an abyss of madness and murder when his dummy develops a mind of its own. But even after these frightening tales are told, does one final nightmare await them all? Britain's venerable Ealing Studios brought together four brilliant directors -Charles Crichton (THE LAVENDER HILL MOB), Basil Dearden (THE MIND BENDERS), Alberto Cavalcanti (NICHOLAS NICKLEBY) and Robert Hamer (KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS) to create this classic chiller that remains one of the most influential horror films ever made. This is the uncut and complete UK version of DEAD OF NIGHT, now newly restored from original archival materials for the first time in decades.

THE QUEEN OF SPADES "Unusual And Macabre!" ~ Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide A gambling craze is sweeping 19th century St. Petersburg, yet a dashing Russian army captain (Anton Walbrook of THE RED SHOES) is too impoverished to participate. But when he learns that an aging countess (an award-winning performance by Dame Edith Evans of TOM JONES) may hold the ultimate key to gaming riches, the desperate young officer will stop at nothing to steal the sinister secret for himself. When fortunes are won and lost with the turn of a card, will one man wager his very soul on a final twist of fate? Yvonne Mitchell (DEMONS OF THE MIND) co-stars in this brilliant British chiller directed by Thorold Dickinson (GASLIGHT), featuring extraordinary cinematography by Otto Heller (PEEPING TOM, THE IPCRESS FILE) and based on the celebrated short story by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Includes AN 8-page Collector's Booklet.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell
  • Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dearden, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer, Thorold Dickinson
  • Writers: Alexander Pushkin, Angus MacPhail, Arthur Boys
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 198 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844JQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead of Night/The Queen of Spades" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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About ten years ago, I screened THE QUEEN OF SPADES at New York's Museum of Modern Art film library. I had heard that they had, in their collection, an old 16 mm print of this almost-lost treasure. I sat with a Russian stage/film director friend, as well as actress Rosemary Harris (late of Aunt May in SPIDERMAN); the three of us were transfixed as we discovered, and Rosie re-discovered (she had seen the premiere in England), this astonishing piece of film alchemy.
Anton Walbrook's talent, like Vivien Leigh's, was ineffable. His choices, as an actor, are so outlandish sometimes that you think he will never pull off the moment - then he stops right at the edge and leaves you gasping at the utter uniqueness and danger of his choice. Dame Edith Evans, in her film debut, playing a woman forty years her senior, is all remarkable, twisted, bitter, frightened restraint. (Rosie mentioned that Edith Evan's key moment of reaction, in the film, had so frightened the audience at the time that everyone screamed out loud. Not difficult to understand, even today...)
The lighting and camera direction are at once solid and ethereal; dreamy like Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BETE, and brutally unforgiving like Welles' CITIZEN KANE.
Much has been said about DEAD OF NIGHT and deservedly so. This genuinely is the grandfather of all psychological horror films. What seems so innocuous, almost gentle at first, develops into a disturbingly laden freight train barrelling straight towards you. There will be no way to escape. You will be knocked squarely off your tracks. Completely and utterly disorienting. Warning: do not watch this film alone at night. Don't even watch this film alone on a sunny day.
The picture and sound on each are very good and rich.
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Dead of Night is one of the most stylish british films ever made. Five (no less) great tales of the supernatural. They are all great. The last one (about the ventriloquist who believes his doll to be alive) is one of the best madness-sequences ever made on film! This sequence is very famous and deserves to be seen many times. This is a film that will let you wondering about the all those great black and white TRUE horror films that we do not see today in the computer age. If you liked The Haunting (Robert Wise's original version) and Spirit of the Dead, this is a film for you: true psycological/supernatural horror.
Queen of Spades is not as famous as the other film, but it is also a true gem to be discovered. It tells the story of a russian officer who's obsessed with discovering the secret of winning at the cards. This obsession will have the most macabre implications. The production designer on this film is a true winner. So is the screenplay and the cinematography.
Here you have two great films for the price of one (positively two of the best films ever made by the Ealing Studios). Who can ask for more? The image on the DVD is fine on both films. There are no extras, but don't let that put you away: these films are worth it. If you (like me) love classic chillers, these are for you!
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Fantastic pairing of two vintage British chillers and an immediate collector's item. Bravo Anchor Bay. 1.) 1946's "Dead Of Night" is an early anthology of supernatural tales told by a group of strangers at a country house to another stranger who has seen them all before----in a nightmare. Excellent cast, good exposition of stories that have been mimicked many times since but never this well. Best: the "Haunted Mirror" sequence and the final horror tale of Hugo the dummy with a brilliant performance by (Sir) Michael Redgrave as the tormented ventriloquist. This sequence features Elisabeth Welch, the singer later to be seen in the bizarre finale of Derek Jarman's equally bizarre "The Tempest". Good print, sometimes tinny sound but not that bad---it's really OK. Weakest sequence is the golfer's story that had been excised from previous prints. Still, it's interesting to see the adult aspects in this sequence not seen in American films of the time. And, in some of the other sequences, to hear "hell" used as a swear word so many times--- also taboo in 40's American films. 2.) 1949's "Queen of Spades"---a film I had never seen before. Based on Alexander Pushkin's famous story, it tells of a Russian military officer in the 1800's who becomes obsessed with learning the "secret" of winning at Faro, a popular card game sweeping Europe at the time. He obtains a mysterious book on the occult that tells of a famous Countess who learned the secret but sold her soul to the devil in the process. The story is true so he tracks her down to learn her "secret" and finds her an aged, embittered but wealthy recluse with a pretty ward she's devoutly protective of. He surreptitiously woos the girl to get to the Countess with tragic results. He accidently scares the old lady to death when she won't talk.Read more ›
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--Dead of Night - Dead of Night remains, sixty years after it was made at Ealing Studios, one of the creepiest and most intelligent of supernatural films. No, it doesn't have creaking coffins, or pale hands edging through a doorway, or Ruritanian vampires. It has a country home set in the warm Kentish countryside, civilized house guests with excellent manners, five stories of unhinged supernatural happenings, and one guest who suffers from nightmares. This is an anthology film, with the stories ranging from ghosts to premonitions to savage possession. They are told by the people who experienced them, and they are all wrapped around by the one guest who knows the house, knows the host and knows the other guests even though he has never seen any of them before. He knows them in his nightmare, a nightmare he has had over and over. "It always starts exactly the same as when I arrived, just now," architect Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) says. "I turn off the main road into the lane. At the bend in the lane, the house comes into view, and I stop as I recognize it. Then I drive on again. And Foley meets me at the front door. I recognize him, too. And then, while I'm taking off my coat, I have the most extraordinary feeling. I nearly turn and run for it, because I know I'm going to come face-to-face with the six [other guests]." Four of the guests and the host, we learn, have stories of their own.

There's the race car driver's story, directed by Basil Dearden. Hugh Grainger (Anthony Baird) survives a crash but sees from his hospital window a horse-drawn hearse. The driver looks up at him. "Just room for one more, sir," he says with a smile. That's just the beginning.

There's the schoolgirl's story, directed by Alberto Calvalcanti.
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